Google yesterday held a Game Developer Summit for developers who make games for Android smartphones. During the summit, Google announced a new feature on Android 12 that will speed up the procedure of downloading the game and launching it by about 2X. The new feature, named “Play as you download," allows users to start playing an Android game before it finishes downloading on their smartphone. Google says that the new feature halves the time to jump into a game that weighs in at 400MB or so. Gaming consoles like Sony PlayStation have a similar feature that allows users to start playing the game before it finishes downloading or installing on their console.
Now, this isn’t the first time Google has made an attempt to make games load faster on Android phones. There is a Google Play Instant feature on the Play Store that allows users to immediately start a game directly from the Play Store. The idea there is to completely do away with the install process and give potential players an opportunity to try a new game instantly. Like Play Instant, Google’s new ‘play as you download’ feature is powered by Google’s Android App Bundle format that is replacing the old APK standard.
Modern smartphone games are probably the largest apps users download on their smartphones, often being as big as several GBs. Downloading these games takes several minutes, and by that time, users are on a different app or service. With the new feature, that time will be reduced by half, Google claims.